Album Review

Silo – “Silo ” – [Utech]

Thurston Hunger   3/23/2006   A Library, CD

A four-piece, if you count their namesake, the Silo where this
was recorded. That silo lends both to quick darting sounds
that can then stop and reverberate, and to slow droning notes
(and bows) that can then naturally build upon themselves. As
for instruments it’s a sorta cello sandwich, with AUDREY CHEN
sliced between trumpeteers NATE WOOLEY and LEONEL KAPLAN.
Chen also vocalizes, reaching a Diamanda-like passion on the
opening number midway in. Nice! The cd actually features a lot
of mouth as instrument, on #2 Kiwi JAMES WEBSTER joins in, he
and Chen stretch out some sticky waves of harmonizing. Webster
evidently brings some Maori percussion and maybe other items
to the mix. I think the dry chuttling at the beginning of #2
is him? It’s tough to place who’s doing what here, if you are
looking for trumpets qua trumpets they can be camoflauged at
times. Or just hanging a note in the breeze for a bit. I’m
not sure what’s whittling away at 8:45 in on #2, but it’s got
a shrill clarity that stands nicely in contrast to the more
whooshy, amorphous sounds here. Meanwhile a lot of the quick
stop notes after awhile reminded me too much of sneakers on
an indoor basketball court. It’s like the Silo is a pedal
that can’t be turned off. Perhaps if the trio had asserted
themselves with some song-snippets floating in the ocean of
improv, that might have offered some definition too. I mean
two trumpets, if they team up for a passage, my ears would
be compelled. I enjoyed this, but wanted to fall in love
with it. -Thurston Hunger

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